Scobee: 'It's good to have a change of scenery'


Josh Scobee wasn't expecting the phone call, never once thinking about being traded to another team as the 12-year veteran was simply focused on the competition he was facing at kicker.

So when he got the word that he was being traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was surprised. Then he learned he was headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he was immediately excited.  

"When they told me who it was to there was genuine excitement there because of the history of this franchise and where the team is going," said Scobee, who was acquired after Garrett Hartley was placed on injured reserve. "The possibilities for this season are there to win a championship. I am excited to be a part of it.

"Coach (Mike) Tomlin talks about winning a championship. To hear those things said is kind of shock to me because of where we were in Jacksonville the last seven years was not good. To be here now with where this organization is going and where it's been, I can say I am truly excited."

Scobee spent the previous 11 seasons with the Jaguars after they selected him in the fifth round in 2004. He was in a situation where he was comfortable with his surroundings, comfortable with the routine. But as he said, change can be good.

"You get comfortable and get used to seeing the same people doing the same thing every morning," said Scobee. "It's being in your comfort zone. The fun about the NFL is a lot of times you are out of your comfort zone. This is a little different than what I am used to, but I am excited for the challenge.

"Sometimes you can get a little too comfortable. It's good to have a change of scenery, change of pace, to refresh yourself."

The key for Scobee now is to get comfortable at Heinz Field. He is no stranger to kicking there, having played there four times while with Jacksonville, but he knows there will be adjustments to make.  

"It's one of the tougher places to kick," said Scobee. "Historically the weather gets bad here, the field will get torn up. That's just the way it is. As a kicker that has played a long time in the league, I played on every surface possible, good conditions, bad. You just have to be prepared for it, have extra focus and pay attention to what you are doing. It's something I am used to so I will be able to handle."

Scobee will get to work today with long snapper Greg Warren and holder Brad Wing, getting a comfort level with them. He said the hold is the key thing, getting comfortable with each other's tendencies and what he likes. He will get his first shot in a Steelers uniform working at Heinz Field on Thursday against the Carolina Panthers, but plans on returning before the regular season starts if he still feels the need.

"It's just a matter of repetitions," said Scobee. "We are going to do that today and tomorrow and not stop until we feel really comfortable with it.

"If we don't get enough work in there on Thursday between pregame and the game, we will get back over there between now and the first home game just to get a sense for the wind, get some sightlines. It's good to get spots to aim at. Since I played here a few times I can still remember in my mind what I am looking at when I am kicking. That won't be a big change."

There is one thing that will be a big change. As a visitor he became accustomed to the Heinz Field crowd being against him. Now he has Steelers fans on his side.

"This is one of my favorite places to play," said Scobee. "The excitement and energy in the stadium is unbelievable. I can still remember one moment when a song came on and I never felt the hair stand up on my arms for that one moment. I am pretty pumped for that."

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